WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 28, 2021
TOPIC: THE CLAY IN THE POTTER’S HAND
BY T. O. BANSO
“The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: ‘Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.’ Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?’ says the LORD. ‘Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!’” (Jeremiah 18:1-6 New King James Version).
A potter is a pottery maker. Pottery is the process and the product of making objects with clay. It has been described as one of the oldest inventions of man. The potter never used clay in its natural form – it is not fit for use until it is prepared for use. The clay goes through different processes before use namely:
1. Collecting of the clay
2. Mixing of the clay with water
3. Removal of stone and other extraneous materials as it is poured from one bowl to another in painstaking sifting to refine it.
4. Addition of other ingredients like straw, sand, etc. to reduce possible contraction and guide against cracking during the drying or firing of the vessel. The Israelites used straw in molding their bricks to achieve a similar goal as in pottery (Exodus 5:7, 10-13, 16, 18).
5. Kneading (pressing or treading) of clay by hands or feet to make it smooth and well compressed. It removes air trapped in the clay i-e de-air, which is done either manually (wedging) or by a machine (vacuum plug). Isaiah 41:25 speaks about the potter treading clay.
6. Using different methods, the potter shapes the clay to achieve a predetermined design. Shaping was done by hand manually before the invention of the potter’s wheel which transformed pottery making.
7. The potter exposes the molded clay to high temperature to harden it as a molded clay is only attractive to the eye but useless unless it is hardened. This is achieved either by drying or exposure to fire but firing the molded clay vessel is better as sun-dried clay can only be used for dry items; it will break if a liquid is poured into it. According to a Bible dictionary, for a clay vessel to be sufficiently hardened to store liquid, it requires exposure to a minimum temperature of 500 degrees C (900 degrees F) (Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary).
8. The potter decorates the clay vessel using different methods including painting. Decoration can also be done before firing.
In Genesis 2:7, the Bible says God formed man’s body from the dust of the ground and breathed into it the breath of life, and the man became a living person. 1Timothy 2:13 refers to this saying Adam was first formed, then Eve. Elihu, one of Job’s friends, says in Job 33:6, “Truly I am as your spokesman before God; I also have been formed out of clay” (New King James Version). God made man out of clay. In John 9, Jesus gave a man born blind from the womb new eyes using the clay (John 9:1-14).
God is the Potter, and you are the clay. That’s what Isaiah 64:8 says. “But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand” (New King James Version). The New Living Translation puts it this way: “And yet, LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We are all formed by your hand” (Isaiah 64:8 New Living Translation).
Jeremiah 18:1-6 says, “The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: ‘Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.’ Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?’ says the LORD. ‘Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!’” (New King James Version).
You are clay in the hand of the Potter. God is taking you through a process in making you; He uses different methods just as the potter does. God also uses different people to shape you. You don’t determine the process God adopts. All you have to do is to trust God and believe that He knows what He is doing. The physical clay does not argue with the potter. You shouldn’t struggle with your Maker. You should, as the clay is, be mouldable. Just as the potter moulds different objects with the clay, God determines how He shapes each person.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to trust in the LORD with all our heart, and lean not on our own understanding but in all our ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct our paths. Psalm 62:8 says to trust in Him at all times. The prophet, Isaiah, though frustrated by what he was going through in ministry, chose to put his trust in God.
Hear him in Isaiah 49:3-4, “He [God] said to me, ‘You are my servant, Israel, and you will bring me glory.’ I replied, ‘But my work all seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose at all. Yet I leave it all in the LORD’s hand; I will trust God for my reward’” (New Living Translation).
You should put your trust in God as you go through the process of God making you and cooperate with the shaping hands of God. Isaiah 29:16 says, “Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; for shall the thing made say of him who made it, ‘He did not make me’? Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding;’?” (New King James Version).
Romans 9:20-21 conveys a similar truth: “But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?” (New King James Version).
Cooperate with God he Potter as He shapes you to what he wants. If you have messed up or disobeyed God, don’t lose hope. The potter does not throw away the clay he is forming because he has not achieved the image he has in mind. He continues working at it until he achieves his purpose. The same thing applies to God the Potter.
God always gives us more than one chance. He is not finished yet with you but don’t abuse His grace and mercy. “And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make” (Jeremiah18:4 New King James Version).
Don’t frustrate the purpose of God for your life by continued disobedience. Put your trust in Him and obey Him. As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in His hand. Let Him do to you as the potter does. Allow Him to make you as it seems good to Him.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank You for Your plan and purpose for my life. Thank You for Your shaping hands. Forgive me for the ways I have disobeyed You. Holy Spirit, help me to cooperate with the shaping hand of God. Father, do with me as it seems good to You, according to Your power.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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